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The team at Beacon Counselling Trust has
announced its vision for a whole family approach in tackling gambling harms in the North West.

Clinical Director, Neil Platt, teamed with Director of The Centre for Addiction Recovery Research at Leeds Trinity University, Prof. David Best, outlined the charity’s plans for future engagement, education and
intervention in a conference at The Spine, in Liverpool.

More than 150 health, social care and education professionals, joined with those from the National Gambling Support Network attended the first of its kind conference. The day was an opportunity to learn more on BCT’s engagement with stakeholders in the region. The whole family conference also served as a call to action, with Neil Platt and the day’s speakers championing for a community place-based approach to addressing
gambling harms. The programme outlined a collective mission for a collaborative approach and plans to support the whole family unit in recovery from gambling harms.

Opening the conference Neil Platt said: “Don’t let what you can’t do get in the way of what you can do. We can’t wait for more research or other external factors, we are missing opportunities for early support now.”

The conference welcomed guest speakers including Dame Clare Gerada from the Primary Care Gambling Service, Emily Spurrell Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner and Researcher Nadia Butler
to discuss gambling harms and the links with adverse childhood experiences.

Fascinating talks on the day also included young people, gambling and neurodiversity delivered by Alistair Barfield. And members of the lived community from partner organisation Bet Know More, who shared their own personal stories of working through gambling harms as affected family members. Retired footballer, coach and now therapist George Parris shared his reflections of his recovery journey.

As well as learning more about treatment and support pathways, the day was also an opportunity to engage with other BCT projects including Bet You Can Help programme and the Armed Forces Gambling Support Network delivering Battling the Odds. Stakeholders were also asked to consider looking at their own work policies and engage with BCT’s workplace charter.

Treatment manager Lauren Campbell said the team wanted to thank all those who had taken the time to attend and for the response to the day’s presentations. She added: “It was a massively successful day, and it was great to see a range of people from NHS, health and social care, and public health attend. I believe this conference has brought into awareness the importance of taking a whole family approach to gambling harms across the sectors working to support people within our region. BCT rely on the support and collaboration from our stakeholders to support individuals and we are optimistic that the conference has sparked an appetite for stakeholders to collaborate with BCT going forward to embed a whole family approach to gambling harms across our region”.

 An amazing visual representation of all the topics covered throughout the event.

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